February 17, 2010


It's very difficult for me to talk about miso and soy sauce comprehensively, so I have decided to start with the very basics: talk about the miso I currently use.
The miso is Saigetsu from Marudai Miso. While the sales company is located in Tokyo, the miso itself is made in Sado Island, Niigata. It is an additive-free kome (= rice) miso. This 1-kg pack is about 450 yen. (I got mine much cheaper; it was on sale yesterday.)

Product name: Kome (= rice) miso
Raw materials: Soybeans (non-genetically modified), rice, salt
品名: 米味噌
原材料名: 大豆(遺伝子組み換えでない)、米、食塩
According to JAS, miso is classified into four types:
Kome miso (soybeans + rice fermented and matured)
Mugi miso (soybeans + barley or rye fermented and matured)
Mame miso (soybeans fermented and matured)
Chogo miso (mixture of any of the above; or another type of miso)

Kome miso is further divided into three types:
Ama (= sweet) miso (which is further divided into two types, aka (red) and shiro (white))
Amakuchi (= sweet, mild) miso (which is further divided into two types, tanshoku (light-colored) and aka (red))
Karakuchi (= dry, i.e., salty) miso (which is further divided into two types, tanshoku (light-colored) and aka (red))

Mugi miso is further divided into two types, amakuchi and karakuchi.

米みそ: 大豆と米を発酵・熟成させたもの。
麦みそ: 大豆と大麦又ははだか麦を発酵・熟成させたもの。
豆みそ: 大豆を発酵・熟成させたもの。
調合みそ: 上記の各みそを混合したもの。または、その他のみそ。


Reference/参考: 味噌の種類 (Japanese only)/(日本語のみ)

Saigetsu is karakuchi, aka (salty, red) kome miso.
(To be continued)


Amato said...

You are the best Hiro!
Now I can start my post about miso. :-) Thank you!
In Germany I buy my miso in organic food stores. Right now I have a shiro miso and kome miso.
Also some original Japanese shiro miso, but these imported miso kinds sometimes arent really good, I assume this are the cheapest kinds in Japan.
So for me it’s very interesting to see what kinds of miso you use, especially after I bought 4-5 imported which I didn’t like.
I also have a hatcho miso, very dark, very strong.Too strong to my taste.

Hiroyuki said...

Amato: I once got two packs of hatcho miso from my mother, but I never liked its flavor. After all, it went bad, and I had to throw it away!
I don't like shiro miso, either. It's simply too sweet for my taste.

Amato said...

I think my hatcho miso will suffer the same fate like yours- its sitting in my fridge forever.
I like shiro miso very much, it’s mild and sweet. I think this kind of miso is easier to begin with, for people who aren’t used to miso.

Hiroyuki said...

Echigo (former Niigata) shiro miso is fine with me; it's not so sweet, and I like it. But the type of shiro miso you can find in Kyoto... It's just too sweet for me.
My father comes from Shinshu (aka Nakago), and Shinshu miso is what I grew up with. I still like Shinshu miso, but because I've lived here in Niigata for more than ten years now, I like Echigo (karakuchi aka) miso even better!